Top govt official in vigilance net for ‘constructing’ house on state land

Jammu: State Vigilance Commission (SVC) has ordered a probe against a senior government official for allegedly constructing a private residential house on state government’s land in Jammu.
“We have ordered registration of Preliminary Enquiry (PE) against Director Finance, Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department, Tasheen Jabeen Mufti to ascertain the circumstances under which he has constructed a private residential house on the state government land in Sunjwan area in Jammu”, a senior SVC official said today.
The Commission received a complaint from Dr Nissar Ahmad Malik and after secret verification through Vigilance Organisation, it came to fore that in village Sunjwan, 1 kanal and 10 marlas of state land stands in the name of state and Mufti has constructed a residential house on it.
1000 kanal equals 125 acres, and one kanal equal 20 marlas.
“There is no revenue record to substantiate her claim on the land. Revenue officials told us that land is still registered in name of the state”, officer said.
The Commission has directed for immediate and thorough enquiry to establish culpability of revenue officers and the Director, which has resulted in conversion of state land for construction of a private residential house.
Under fire for failure to stop massive alleged grabbing of thousands of acres of forest land in the lower Shivalik Range here, Jammu and Kashmir government in May this year set up a demarcation committee for cracking down on the “heavyweight encroachers”.
As per the forest department, 14,345 hectares of forest land had been encroached upon with 9,463.39 hectares in Jammu and 4877.62 hectares in Kashmir.
There have been reports of massive encroachment of forest land by influential people in Sunjwan, Bathindi, Raika and Sidhra areas in Jammu district during the last two decades and huge forest lands were grabbed and sold by the politically influential to those wanting to set up colonies.
A five-member panel headed by the Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu would deal with the encroachment and eviction of forest lands in Sunjwan, Bathindi, Raika and Sidhra areas in Jammu. The panel is conducting the demarcation of the identified disputed locations in the context of Jammu and Kashmir Forest Act.